Startup Weekend Gold Coast

    Friday, November 10 - 12, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Gold Coast

Friday, November 10 - 12, 2017

Friday, November 10 - 12, 2017
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Gold Coast Hub
20 Kortum Drive
Burleigh Heads, Queensland 4220

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Global Startup Weekend Gold Coast

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour whirlwind event where you get to be part of building a business in a weekend.  It's about pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of a panel of judges and an opportunity to win great prizes. It is open to all people of all ages from all walks of life.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and teams organically form around the top ideas. All ideas, applications and platforms are welcome – remember that the sky is the limit!

How does it work?

We're mashing the geeks with entrepreneurs and everyone in between, and locking them in a building together for a weekend, pouring in a heap of caffeine and free food, to see what new ideas come out the other end. This 54 hour event brings together creatives, technologists, designers and developers to experiment with rapid idea generation, Silicon Valley style. 

It is a fast-paced and highly creative event that challenges everyone who attends to make innovative new projects in 54 hours.

Who can attend?

Anyone. Whether you're 8 or 88, a painter, actor, software engineer, writer, graphic designer, geek, entrepreneur, photographer, musician, programmer, museum curator, or startup specialist. Whether you have an idea, or have no idea. Everyone is welcome. (We even allow bankers and used-car salesmen to come along!) 

What you will get out of it

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success? Startup Weekend  is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered citizens who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures or products.  Whether participants found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, find a creative collaborator, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to have a heap of fun, and to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

See what it's all about

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Friday November 10th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 11th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 12th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Dan Norris
Founder of Black Hops Brewing, Author of 7 Day Startup

Dan Norris is a serial entrepreneur, award-winning content marketer, international speaker and the author of 4 number 1 Amazon best selling business books.In June 2013 after failing at entrepreneurship for 7 years, he founded, a worldwide team of WordPress developers, providing unlimited small fixes and support, 24 / 7 for a low monthly fee. After becoming profitable in 23 days, WP Curve grew to a team of 40, 850+ customers and passed an annual run rate of over $1m AUD within 2 years and a year later was sold to GoDaddy.With over 65,000 copies sold, Dan’s books have been translated into 13 languages and inspired thousands of people around the world to launch their businesses, with may resulting in 6 and even 7 figure businesses.Dan is also the co-founder of Black Hops Brewing, a craft beer brewery located on the Gold Coast, Australia. In 2015 Black Hops brewed the world’s first beer for the biggest entertainment franchise on earth, Call of Duty.Dan is passionate about helping people launch entrepreneurial projects. He has a paid 7 Day Startup group as well as a free Facebook group with over 12,000 members.

Meryl Johnston

Meryl is the founder and CEO of Bean Ninjas.
Bean Ninjas is a productised service which helps e-commerce stores / freelancers / digital agencies / coaches and consultants to stay on top of their business finances using Xero.
The business started in 2015 and now has a distributed team of 10+ staff servicing customers in Australia, US and United Kingdom.
Meryl is a Chartered Accountant and prior to Bean Ninjas she ran a consulting firm, worked at international accounting firm BDO and lectured in accounting at Central Queensland University.

Armin Weiner
CTO MedSoft

Armin Weiner is a global industry leader in Healthcare systems and has both strong analytical skills along with extensive experience in providing next-generation Information System solutions to complex clinical / information / workflow problems.

Coaches and Mentors

Kat McArthur
Entrepreneur, Founder

Kat’s idea and a popup team won Startup Weekend Gold Coast in 2013 and topped the Global Startup Battle. Some in the team stayed on and WunderWalk was bootstrapped and born 6 months later - a free global travel app that combines your interests into instant walks all over the world, like shopping sprees and tourist trails. WunderWalk won places in both Queensland and NSW entrepreneur programs to incubate and accelerate, including seed investment capital. WunderWalk achieved global accolades with Condé Nast Traveler ‘as one of the best apps changing the way we travel in 2014’. TechCrunch also spotted WunderWalk amongst only several other Australian startups that year. Kat was finalist 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by Women In Technology Queensland. This is Kat’s first startup and first app. Kat’s background in science, global sustainability, technical project management, and a passion for travel served her to become the all-rounder to drive both daily operations and strategic direction of WunderWalk. After 2.5 years and a lot of unpaid founder labour, the app was retired after not reaching viability. An outcome more common than not in the app business. Kat says her growth was equivalent to an applied MBA. In 2017, Kat is a digital nomad, writer, and hobbyist inventor. She would be happy to dedicate her career to improving digital experiences, because ‘they are pervading daily lives and there is so much to improve.’ Kat is also helping businesses scale by technical change management to optimise triple bottom lines.

Brett McCallum

Well travelled Entrepreneur, Unicorn Hunter, Disruptor, Networker, Award winning mentor, Connector, Sports Addict, Duel Tough Mudder and lover of all things life. Father of 4 and loving husband.

Lina Sodin
Casual Academic, Trainer & Content Developer

Paul Watts
Business and IT executive

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Paul is a 40+ year ICT Professional with a career spanning Japanese and American Multi-Nationals and a 20 year stint as a Founding Director and past CEO of a Brisbane based IT startup. While experienced in a broad range of business disciplines Paul  specialises in Sales and Marketing enablement, from start-ups to global enterprises. Paul is currently invested in a number of companies and is a past Mentor at iLab in Brisbane.

Sze Lee Lai

Paul McCarty

Paul McCarty is the founder and lead engineer for, the world’s first “Platform-Security-as-a-Service”.  Paul is a habitual entrepreneur having opened his first computer store and ISP in the US in 1996.  Nowadays, Paul helps businesses meet their compliance, audit and IT and cloud security needs with the SecureStack line of products.   He also likes hanging out at the Mudgeeraba Techspace, playing guitar for his kids and growing mad hot chili peppers.

Ria Rehder

Dane Hawtin

Mark Zmarzly

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Gold Coast team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.




Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Australia is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Tanya
  • Baden
  • Sharon
  • Tiah
  • Navdeep


Baden Uren
Head of Entrepreneurship

Innovation, entrepreneurship, education, community. i love the creative side of business and bringing the potential out in others

Event Staff

Sam Winter

Sam has a passion for building businesses that make a social impact and loves educating and supporting fellow social entrepreneurs in a cohesive collaborative way.
Sam has been an active participant and contributor in the Gold Coast startup ecosystem since moving from Sydney three years ago. While volunteering at Silicon Lakes, a not for profit startup community for entrepreneurs on the Gold Coast, where Sam teamed up with Sharon to create Startup Apprentice.
Sam has been an online entrepreneur for 10 years with a background in PR, marketing, communications and events management in both the private and government sectors. Sam was a finalist in 2011 at the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Online Business Awards.
Sam is an Alumni graduate of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Marie Forleo’s B-School and Jonathan Fields Rev U programs.

Robert Page

Event Blog

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